This case follows attempts over a period of twenty years to improve urban sanitation in the two largest cities of Ghana - Accra and Kumasi - by contracting out the management of public toilets to private business and involving community based organisations. It explains why these initiatives have failed, essentially because the franchises were captured by politicians for whom the management and control of public toilets were important sources of revenue and patronage. It suggests that the benefits of market discipline and community participation do not necessarily materialise if the state does not have the capacity to regulate and manage public/private partnerships, and community organisations lack independence. The case underlines the need for any institutional arrangements to be designed to take full account of the political and institutional context.
This is a two-page summary of a paper which can be accessed in full on this page.
Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies, 2 pp.
Research Summary 15, “Toilet Wars”: Urban Sanitation Services and the Politics of Public-Private Partnerships in Ghana. IDS Working Paper No. 213.